Swoon – Hushed and Big Voices

In Dialogue

 All images courtesy of Tod Seelie.
Swoon, Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, photo courtesy of Tod Seelie

Brooklyn-based artist Caledonia Curry, known as Swoon, is celebrated internationally as one of the first female street artists in a male-dominated field. For over two decades, Swoon has explored human experiences through public art, museum exhibitions, and film. Her latest projects look at the ties between trauma and addiction, inspired by her own life in a family affected by opioid addiction. She works closely with communities, using art to show empathy and help people heal. Over the last ten years, Swoon has led important projects in places like Braddock and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, New Orleans in Louisiana, Venice, and Komye in Haiti, tackling everything from natural disasters to the opioid crisis.

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In Dialogue
A street sign on a pole in a city

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New York City

Shortly after the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas, flyers suddenly sprouted on New York streets. These flyers were attached to streetlamp posts, tree trunks, and subway stairwells, showcasing photos of infants, children, teens, and grandparents. beneath bold red banners that read “KIDNAPPED.” These photos capture moments from everyday life of people prior to the Hamas attack on October 7th—babies being fed, grandmas smiling, and teens taking selfies. This public art campaign was the brainchild of Israeli street artists Dede Bandaid and Nitzan Mintz. The couple, partners in life and art, have a history of engaging with public spaces globally in places like Tel Aviv, Berlin, Warsaw, and New York. They have recently arrived in New York to pursue their art. However, the events of October 7th shifted their focus. While trying to grasp the enormity and brutality of the terror attack on Israel, they felt compelled to respond by using the street art techniques they were proficient in. Art Spiel had the opportunity to speak with graffiti artist Dede Bandaid over the phone about the inception of this guerrilla street art campaign, which went viral and all over the globe.

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